There are three fantastic sights in this area - Torre de Belem, Monument to the Discoveries and for me the best was Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.
Get the 15 tram from Praca de Figueira and get off after Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. You need to walk up aways and take the footbridge over the road to get to the Torre de Belem, and the Monument to the Discoveries.
take a trip to the castle - the view from the top is outstanding and is well worth the climb up the streets to reach it. Take plenty of water though, as you will need it on a hot day!
Largo do Chão da Feira, in the Alfama district;
tel: 21 887 7244
Get lost in the Alfama district. It is the real Lisbon, as it is the only district not to have been flattened by the great earthquake of 1850. The maze of confusing cobbled streets leading to the Castelo de São Jorge contain houses showing examples of azulejo tiling. Look out for the viewpoint with a beautiful mosiac of the city and a pond, looking out over the Tejo river and Ponte 25 de Abril.
A 5 minute walk to the east of the Praca de Comercio. The metro doesn't cover the Alfama area, but it's better to walk anyway.
This cathedral was the first church to be built in Lisbon and has a great altar and stained glass windows. The exterior of the chuch is better than the interior though.
Largo da Sé, in the Alfama district, on the way to the Castelo de São Jorge;
tel: 21 886 67 52
This is an impressive monument dedicated to the many explorers who set off from the Torre de Belem to expand Portugal's empire in the Americas.
Praca da Boa Esperanca, Av. de Brasilia;
tel: 21 301 6228;
Tram 15 stops in front on the Torre de Belem which is a 5 minute walk away from the monument itself.
This octagonal tower is both the national landmark of Lisbon and a World Heritage Site. Inside the tower there is a small expedition about its history as a setting off point for voyages of discovery to the Americas, and you can climb up the top for views of the Tejo river.
Avenida da India;
Tram 15 stops right in front of the tower but you have to cross the busy main road via a footbridge.
This medieval castle built by St George to defend the city from invading Moors has endless views of Lisbon. It gives a great perspective of the city's gridiron layout and location of the great sights. Beware of slippery stones when it's wet though.
Largo do Chao da Feira, n the centre of the Alfama district. It's clearly signposted from the Praca de Comercio and the Baixa district (n.b: the metro doesn't cover the Alfama district);
tel: 21 887 7244
Ruined church right in Chiado in Lisbon's centre. Wonderful, relaxing and quiet place to escape the heat. Great museum also inside with some weird and wonderful exhibits. In a nice shady square too. Go in early spring to get the jacarandas in bloom. Closed on Sundays (whereas most museums close on a Monday). You can get a look in if you go up the Elevador da Santa Justa - which also has fabulous views over Baixa.
Largo do Carmo;
tel: 21 346 0473
Come out of the top exit of Baixa-Chiado metro, walk down the hill (past cafe Brasileira) and turn left up any street – which will be steep. It's at the top in the shade.
This is one of the most lively squares of Lisbon, and one of the most beautiful in my opinion. In the middle stands the statue of Dom Pedro IV and on each side there is a beautiful fountain. The D. Maria II National Theatre is situated at the northern side of the square next to the glorious Triumphal Arch. If you want to rest and have a bica (coffee), then choose one of the many cafés or pasteleria's situated on each side of the square.
At the southern end of Avenida da Liberdade, on the southern bank of the Tajo river.
The 28 tram is THE iconic method of transport in Lisbon and a great way to see some of the major sights of this gorgeous city: the Se, Castelo de Sao Jorge, the Baixa and more.
However, it can get really crowded with tourists during the summer months and around the middle of the day. Many visitors often appear not to realise that this is not a tourist tram specifically for them but an integral part of the city's transport system used by many old grannies and locals with little children etc.
A tip for getting a seat is to take the green metro line (LInha Caravela) from Baixa-Chiado or Rossio to the Martim Moniz stop. From here you can jump on board the 28 tram at the start and be assured of a seat - and a fantastic view, unless there's a giant bottom in your face - all the way through town to the terminus at the other end by the Cemiterio dos Prazeres.
Be sure to give up your seat for a grannie, though!
Martim Moniz metro stop (Green line - Linha Caravela)
Tram No. 28
A buzzing outdoor terrace, quality coffee, history and that atmospheric, cavernous interior – damn the critics, this Brazilian lady is a Lisbon classic.
Address: Rua Garrett No. 120, Largo do Chiado.
Telephone: (351) 213469541.
Opposite the Jardim da Estrela, near the end of the 28 tram route, is the walled English Cemetery - an extraordinary, overgrown jumble of graves, trees and stories. Not just English ones: all sorts of expats, adventurers, drifters and romantics ended up here. So did Henry Fielding, who came to Lisbon for his health, hated it and died. It feels like walking into a secret history of old Europe.
Rua de Sao Jorge, Estrela;
Metro: Rato, or catch tram 28
The Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the most peaceful spots in Lisbon and has fine views over the city. It's a great place from where to watch the sunset.
When we were there, the Emperor Hirohito's son and heir were filming the amazing sunset.
Follow up with an evening meal in the Alfama district below the castle at the Esquina de Alfama for good value Portuguese food (tasty sardines!)
A spectacular museum with fine examples of European and Japanese art by Bosch, Raphael and many more artists. It contains the beautiful 'Veneration of St Vincent' which is the most important painting in Portugal. A return visit is necessary to appreciate it properly.
Rua das Janelas Verdes 1249-017, in the Chiado district. Tram 28 stops right outside the museum;
tel: 21 391 2800;
www.mnarteantiga-ipmuseus.pt (in Portugese)
In 1798, the remains of Lisbon's Roman amphitheatre were discovered dug into the side of the hill, in what must once have been a very dramatic location just uphill from the Sé. It's been excavated and turned into a simple but very attractive museum.
Pátio do Aljube, 5 (off Rua Augusto Rosa) or Rua da Saudade; tel: 21 75 13 200;
This vast neoclassical monument has a huge dome and a façade with twin bell towers decorated with an array of statues of saints and allegorical figures. The spacious marble interior contains an elaborate tomb of Queen Maria I, and a life-size Christmas manger composed of more than 500 figures. Free entry.
Praça da Estrela (tram 28 stops right outside);
Open daily 7:30am-1pm, 3pm-8pm
Quelez Palace was the summer palace of Portugal's royal families and dates from the 18 century. It is a splendid example of rococo architecture and has a magnificent interior.
Lg. do Palácio Nacional, on the western outskirts of Lisbon in the Amadora district. It is a 5 minute walk from the Amadora Este metro station (the terminus of the blue line). Closed Tuesdays.
What is happening to Parque Mayer? This atmospheric hodge-podge of theatres, music halls, restaurants and cinemas just off the Avenide da Liberdade has been slowly crumbling away for years, and plans were announced to tear down the lot and replace it with a Frank Gehry-designed complex. Those plans seem to have been abandoned and the beautiful art deco Teatro Capitólio, despite a local campaign and listing by World Monuments Watch, is still being left to rot. Go for a wander around while you can: it's like being on a David Lynch film set.
Parque Mayer, Travessa do Salitre;
This place, in the Estrela area of the city, should be on the itinerary of any tourist. I love it because it is wonderful just to go for a walk around and feel at peace in the midst of the city. It is utterly beautiful, very peaceful and extremely well-kept. If you are able to, go into the church, because it is gorgeous as well.
Henry Fielding the novelist and Philip Doddridge the writer of hymns, are among those buried in the cemetery. If you visit when there is a service on you will be made very welcome by the expat community. There are also some decent and relatively cheap eating places in the area.
Rua de Sao Jorge, Estrela;
Metro: Rato, or catch tram 28;
Walk straight through the gardens until you see a large wall opposite. Cross the zebra crossing, bear left and half way up the hill is the church gate. For more information, or to arrange a visit, see www.lisbonanglicans.org
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